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Archive for June, 2008

Low Glycemic Diets

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Every time I talk to someone about foods that are Low Glycemic there is confusion. Lately I’ve started looking at moving to focused Low Glycemic diet and have been evaluating several. The main theme I have found is a focus on protein and away from sugar and carbs.

While I agree that this will certainly support a Low Glycemic diet, I also have found much confusion about the Glycemic Index and how foods impact your blood sugar. This topic requires a diabetic that tests their blood sugar in order to truly determine what food is or is not having a Low Glycemic Impact.

I define Low Glycemic Impact as the actual impact that food has on YOUR body. Different foods impact people differently. Since diabetics test their blood sugar monthly it is common for us to actually see the Glycemic Impact. As a diabetic looking to have a sugar reading of 100 as a target we know that when we eat something and the reading goes to 200 that is bad.

People often come up to me at the Market and ask about the carb count in our granola bars. Some say how can these be Low Glycemic when they have 22 grams of Carbohydrates? A great question and one that requires a great answer, fortunately I have one.

When you combine all the ingredients your body has to digest them all at the same time. Our ingredients are very low on the Glycemic Index, but we do things with our recipe that help make the bars even lower. A great example of this is how we treat the oats we use differently than you do with oatmeal. Oatmeal is hydrated when it is cooked. This makes it easier to break down in your body. Our oats are not hydrated, in fact we remove as much of the moisture as possible. This makes your body work harder to digest it.

We also replace the sugar with Agave which is super low on the Glycemic Index and Honey which is much lower than sugar on the index as well.

The point is that when you look into Glycemic Index you need to look deeper than just at the carb or sugar count. Look a the product and test your blood sugar. I recommend when you test your sugar you take a fasting reading and then eat the food item. Test every 30 minutes for 2 hours and you will know what the Glycemic Impact is for YOU!

Bagels or Donuts, which is better for a Diabetic?

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

My family is addicted to bagels. They would all have a bagel for breakfast everyday if they were in the house. As a diabetic this is clearly not a good choice for me, but I’ve learned how to cut a sliver off the bagel (careful it’s not so easy) and enjoy a quarter of one every once in a while.

Bagels today have over 50 carbs each and I know you can’t just take half, can you? It’s tough to do and the fact is that if you are going to eat a whole bagel, you may as well have a donut or two. Why? Simple, because as a person with diabetes you are going to be spiking your blood sugar in the next 30 minutes and if you are going to do it with a bagel, you may as well aim for a diabetic coma and really enjoy your sin :)

OK, maybe that’s a little over the edge. After all most of us won’t slip into a diabetic coma after a bagel or donut, but your sugar will become uncontrollable and you will pay for it. If you really want to cheat ask yourself if you are prepared to deal with the consequences of high blood sugar.

If you become sleepy when your sugar spikes, make sure you have your night cap on.

Blood Sugar Down, Weight UP :(

Friday, June 13th, 2008

In my regular struggle with controlling my blood sugar and my weight I’ve found a couple of constants.

When I take insulin and my blood sugar is under better control the quantity of insulin I take sometimes causes me to be extra hungry. I know that this is a side effect of insulin and I’ve discussed it with my Dr. We have worked on this problem as a team and I think I’ve found a better way.

For me when I take Lantus at night in 25 unit increments my morning readings are normal or close. This morning it was 114. The past few days it’s been in the 130′s. This is way better than the readings I’d been seeing in the 170-200 range. So I’m glad that I’ve got that problem licked.

The other issue I have is weight control. This quarter I’ve gone up about 10 pounds. It’s frustrating for me when this happens and it’s not always about self control. When my insulin intake is higher than about 20 units a day I am hungrier than usual. It is difficult for me not to eat more. Even when eating healthy foods, quantity DOES matter. So goes my struggle with weight control this quarter…

With my renewed effort to control both my walking is up and I am focusing on controlling both my weight and sugars, stay tuned!

Weight Loss another Miracle Cure?

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

Weight loss is a concern for a majority of Americans. Haven’t you heard…we are all overweight and at risk of becomming Diabetic. Seriously though, so many of us are trying to lose, control, or maintain our weight.

I go through the ups and downs of weight control every quarter. Part of the issue is mental and the other part is physical.

To lose or even maintain weight my mind has to be on that track. I’ve found over the years that it is not hard to derail my weight goals. For me much of the problem is that I eat too much. I usually eat the right foods, however overeating will always cause a weight problem.

Physically, I know that I must also move. This doesn’t require a huge amount of effort, but I need to walk. Walking has it’s own challenges. It’s too hot, or I don’t want to walk alone, or I don’t feel like going to the gym… Now you’ve seen the side of me that is more focused on the challenges than challenging and overcoming the problem.

So… today I am committing to you to be more dilligent about walking and to manage the quantities of my food. As part of this effort I’ll also report back with periodic updates. So, if you see me out and about, feel free to let me know you are watching my progress I’m sure it will have an impact on my results.